Since you asked: An update on Cary Tennis

Surgery went well, his doctors are pleased -- and he'll have a lot to share about patience when he returns

By Joan Walsh
Published January 6, 2010 10:07PM (EST)

I've gotten a lot of email from readers asking how Cary Tennis is doing, recovering from his surgery for sacral chordoma.  (Enterprising folks are using the feedback form on our cover to send good wishes or plead for updates.)  Readers who want regular updates should be following Norma Tennis's great blog here.  Meanwhile, I spoke to Cary on Tuesday afternoon, and the good news is, the surgery went well, the doctors are happy, and he's doing as well as -- maybe even better  than -- expected.

The less good news is: Well, as he was told to expect, it's a tough recovery. He still can't sit, so he's lying down and, occasionally, walking around. (He made it to the beach this week.) He also had a less-than-pleasant surprise when he was discharged on Christmas Day, even though he'd been told to expect weeks of rehabilitation at a local hospital. He'll share the details, but it seems that's what happens when you do better than expected in our health system. He and Norma coped, but it was a rough couple of days.

He's thinking about everyone and wanting to start the column up again, but it's tough for a man in his position -- literally. I told him to think less about the column and more about his comfort, and we'll make it possible for him to come back as soon as he can. In the meantime, he's coping. "Every day I'm getting stronger and walking a little farther," he told me. "But I just have to be patient. I realized that's my job right now, being patient." I told him I'd make a donation in his patience bank if such a thing were possible (not that I have much to spare, so I'll work on that, too).

The best thing? "I've really loved hearing from people, cards, letters, e-mail," he said. So keep the good wishes coming, and we'll forward anything you send to Salon. Hoping, for all our sakes, he'll be back writing soon.

Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh is the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."

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